Bicycle Safety for Kids


Girl on bicycleRiding a bike is one life’s pure joys – wind in your hair, world at your feet and the freedom of those spinning wheels.

It is also an activity that holds some danger with thousands of children seriously injured and hospitalised every year from bike accidents. While the consequences can be serious (and fatal), bicycle safety for kids is actually pretty straight forward. Wear Safe| Bike Safe | Ride Safe.

What To Wear To Keep Safe On Your Bike

Bicycle Helmet
  • You must wear a bike helmet that meets industry standards
  • Wear the helmet on every ride, even if it’s just a short ride
  • Your helmet must fit correctly
  • A bicycle helmet must cover your forehead. If you push it back (to look cool) it won’t protect you if you fall on your head (brain injuries are not cool)
  • Keep the straps fastened and firm at all times. If you’re thrown from your bike an unfastened helmet will hit the ground, followed by your skull
  • Never wear a hat under your helmet
  • Loosen your pigtails or pony tail if your helmet isn’t sitting properly
  • Don’t wear a cracked helmet – helmets must be replaced if they have been in a fall even if you can’t see the damage
  • There are so many amazing designs for bike helmets today, there’s no excuse not to find one you love
    WATCH>> How To Fit & Adjust a Cycle Helment

Bicycle clothes
  • Wear bright or light coloured clothes
  • If riding at dusk or night time bike jackets or vests with reflectors are great to increase visibility
  • Check your pants legs, jacket, shoelaces or bag straps don’t hang down and aren’t able to get caught in your wheels or chain.
  • Wear proper footwear, like runners

The Right Bike Is Vital For Safety

Choosing the Right Bike
  • bike in streetYou should be able to straddle the frame of the bike with both feet flat on the ground and have around 5cm clearance
  • Don’t buy a bike for your child to ‘grow in to’
  • Once seated there should only be a small lean on the bike when one foot is on the ground
  • There should be a slight bend in your legs when riding
  • Some bike manufacturers will have children’s bike size charts as a guide
  • Chain guards are a great idea to keep younger rider’s fingers and hands safe
  • Make sure your new bike is set up correctly – check all bolts are tightened and all components are working before that first ride

Now That I’m on My Bike – How Do I Keep Safe

Safe Bicycle Riding
  • Ride in a manner that is predictable so other road or path users aren’t surprised by a sudden movement
  • You must be in control of your bike – never ride with your hands off the handlebars, feet off the pedals or try to carry too much
  • If you’re on the road, it’s simple, follow the road rules – stop at red lights and stop signs, give way, don’t ride on pedestrian crossings
  • Give hand signals to bring attention to your action whether turning or changing lanes. Remember, indicate your intention not your action – or it might be too late
  • Plan where you are going on your bike ride so you can select the safest route
  • If riding on the footpath make sure you slow down, listen and check that driveways are safe to cross
  • Be aware and expect the unexpected
  • Make eye-contact with drivers and other road users to make sure you’ve seen each other
  • If riding at night you must have bike lights so you can be seen
  • Don’t wear headphones, make sure you can hear everything going on around you
  • Always ride in the same direction as the traffic
  • Be vigilant when riding past parked cars
  • Learn to be a safe road user by practicing with an adult
    WATCH>> It’s a Two Way Street

Bike Safety Checklist

Before your child heads out on a bike ride whether learning to ride, riding with the family or heading out on their own bike adventure, ensure their bike is safe for the trip:

  • Working bell
  • Oiled chain
  • Handlebars and seat bolted on securely
  • Tyres pumped up
  • Working brakes
  • Working lights and reflectors
  • And take a bike lock – so your bike is still there for your ride home!

General Advice

Just like learning to drive a car on the road, children need to learn how to ride a bike on the road. Even the most confident kid may not be ready to ride on the road without having experience watching, riding with and receiving support and advice from an adult.6 Bike Safety Tips for the Family

If you’re still unsure how to make your bike selection, take some time to speak to a local bicycle expert for advice and peace of mind. You don’t have to purchase from them if you have found something suitable and in your budget online, but they may be able to give you that confidence that you are making a great decision to keep your family safe.


Global Cycling Network
Amy Gillet Foundation
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Join the great community of people who are receiving our newsletter and get our Safe Family Resource eBook for FREE. Let's stay safe...together!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

2 thoughts on “Bicycle Safety for Kids”

  1. What a great article on bike safety for the whole family. My kids love riding their bikes and always wear a helmet, I think it’s essential to “train” them from the beginning.

    Great read thank you,

    1. Thanks Vicky,

      It’s hard to believe that we didn’t wear helmets as kids. It’s such a normal part of kids lives now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *